President Donald Trump on Friday invoked slain Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts' name in a campaign email blaming Democrats' immigration policies for both her death and the recent deaths of an Iowa family.
Last year, Tibbetts' father repeatedly said his daughter, whose disappearance and death captured the nation's attention, was "vehemently opposed" to anti-immigrant causes.
The Republican president's email, sent by the Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. committee, attacked Democratic presidential candidates in Iowa who, he said, "continue to ignore the murder in the room."
"Missing from Democrats’ events is any sympathy or compassion for those killed or victimized by people who are in our country illegally," according to the email.
Trump's campaign email cited both the 2018 arrest of an undocumented worker in the death of 20-year-old Tibbetts, and the arrest of another man — also undocumented — whom police allege killed a mother and her two children this week in Des Moines, Iowa.
Last year, Rob Tibbetts, Mollie Tibbetts' father, made a public plea for "decency" from pundits and politicians.
"She may not be able to speak for herself, but I can and will," Tibbetts said in a column he wrote for the Des Moines Register. "Please leave us out of your debate."
Shortly after that plea, most politicians dropped the Tibbetts' case from their rhetoric. But her name has again become part of the immigration debate.